About Us



The Misinformation, Disinformation & False News in Africa Research Project is led by Dani Madrid-Morales (University of Houston) and Herman Wasserman (University of Cape Town). It compares the spread and reception of "fake news" across the continent, and investigates how it affects journalism.
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Our Projects



We have a series of cross-national comparative projects that use different research methods (surveys, interviews, focus groups, experiments). In addition to academic publications, we also share our findings with the wider public through interviews with the media, and by publishing accessible pieces online.
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Useful Resources



With research on "fake news", disinformation and misinformmation on the rise, there's a lot of excellent resources, studies and databases being made available regularly by scholars, NGOs and media houses worldwide. We keep a list of some these resources, particularly those related to African countries.
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Cultural factors are behind disinformation pandemic: why this matters

To contain and mitigate the virus of misinformation needs multi-levelled, socio-cultural approaches. GettyImages Herman Wasserman, University of Cape Town The prevalence of disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic has prompted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn that: We’re not just fighting an epidemic;...

DisinfoAfrica’s Herman Wasserman addressed first WHO infodemiology conference

Professor Herman Wasserman one of the project leaders of DisninfoAfrica delivered a keynote address at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first infodemiology conference. The 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference, as the name suggests, deals with the phenomenon of an ‘infodemic’. According to the WHO, an infodemic is an “overabundance of...

Resources on Fact Checking COVID-19-related Misinformation

Many African fact-checking organizations have been making sure that misinformation related to COVID-19 on social media does not go unchecked. There are several very useful resources that are regularly upated with examples of inaccurate or false posts circulating on social media. Here is a rolling list of some of...

[News Story] WhatsApp Viral Messages ‘Drop 70%’ According to the Company

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after users and governments complained about the amount of misinformation circulating on WhatsApp, the platform announced new measures to curb the virality of messages. Now, WhatsApp says that it has sseen a reduction of 70% in viral messages. There’s been several...

Working on a New Book on False News in the Global South

The lead researchers of the Misinformation, Disinformation & False News Research Project, Herman Wasserman and Dani Madridd-Morales, are working on an edited volume titled Rumors, false news and disinformation in the Global South. It will be published by Wiley, and it is expected to come out in early 2021....

[News Story] A collection of COVID-19-related misinformation in Africa

The BBC’s Reality Check has published a list of health-related misinformation circulating on African social media accounts. Some of the false claims include “that inhaling steam is an effective treatment against coronavirus”, or that people are “retaliating against the Chinese community in Africa” after instances of racism against Africans...

New Research Grant to Study Misinformation on COVID-19 and China in South Africa

One of the lead researchers of the Misinformation, Disinformation & False News Research Project, Herman Wasserman (University of Cape Town), has been awarded a Research Grant by South Africa’s National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Funds from this twelve-month project, that will start in April 2020, will...